A day that we will always remember.
I had spent the day talking to 2 veterans of World War 2.
One Veteran spent his duty in the European Theater the Second Spent his duty in the Pacific Theater.
What these two Veterans have in common besides being Veterans is they are brothers.
They are my grandfather and my great uncle.
My grandfather not being forth comming with much information of his time spent in the Pacific in the U.S. Army he does on occasion relay story’s of fighting the Japanese was very little shooting but with heavey grenading and flame throwing. And occasional mowing down parts of a jungle with a Browning.30 cal machine gun and a Browning Automatic Rifle. Along with a few mortar rounds which he says “Were very devastating to the receiving end(Japanese) and did a hell of a lot of damage where ever they hit.”
He was one of many men who experienced that dreadful day aboard the S.S. Calvin Coolidge.
His brother my great uncle on the other hand isn’t so hesitant to speak about his service in the Golden Arrow 8th Army, “Best damn infantry unit there was” as he layments.
His trip to war torn Germany was on the Queen Mary , he talked of his fellow troops getting sea sick and throwing up in their “steel pots”.
He commented on the interior wood work on that ship and the craft man ship of it. He exclaimed “It was some of the beautiful wood work I’d ever seen”
He noted about how many of his fellow troops engraved ther intials and where they were from and when asked if he would like to engrave his intials, he refused and told his fellow troops it wasn’t his property to deface. Later he spoke about the Captain of the ship speaking on the loud speaker letting the troops know what a bunch of knuckle heads they were for defacing his ship.
He is a Veteran of the battle of the bulge. He survived along with many others to come home to their family’s. Unfortunatly many, many others were not blessed to come home. As I learn more about from my great uncle there were many other immediate family members who fought in both theaters who did not make it home alive, they perished on the battle fields doing a job they were sent to do and fighting for a cause they believed in.
I asked my great uncle if he thought there were any hero’s that he knew of he said “no, we were all doing a job we had to do and we did it because no one else would”
He reflects back on a lot of times he had many story’s good, some bad.
One thing he did reflect on a lot and as he held his head down as to pay respect,
“We lost a hell of a lot of good boy’s and men in that war more than what any book or historian can ever imagine”
June 6th is not a ordinary day or holiday in my family, it is a day of tears , rememberance and thankfulness that those family members that came home. And tears and rememberance to those that did not come home.
When ever you (who ever you are who is reading this) see a veteran regardless of what war, shake their hand, give them a hug or if you live next to one or two like I do, spend time with them do something for them that they can’t do because of a injury or old age.
Do for them as they did for you fifty years ago. They sacrificed their lives for you and the rest of the world. Taking time out of your life to help them and talk with them is a small price in comparison.
Let us never forget those boy’s and men who lost their lives on June 6th.